Steps to Building a Loft Conversion

Preparatory Stage

Is Your Roof Space Suitable For a Conversion?

The first thing to ascertain is whether your loft has the ideal features that would make converting it possible and worthwhile. Whether it’s worth converting a loft space is dependent on the space you will have once the conversion is complete, with height and width being two of the limiting factors here.

Seeking Professional Advice

Once you are satisfied with your loft space, the next thing to do is consult a surveyor, architect or structural engineer. These will tell you whether it’s possible to convert your loft, taking into consideration the structural integrity of different aspects of your home, such as its foundation and roof architecture.

Drawing up a Plan

For the last thing on the preparation side of things, you will need to plan the details of your build, with the costs and logistics being things to consider. Also, having a plan will help with seeking approval from a building control officer, and, if necessary, getting planning permission.

Starting Work

Clearing out Your Roof Space

Once you have permission from a building control officer, you can clear your loft and begin your conversion.

Moving and Replacing Wires

Wires that run along joists and binders need moving, and, if necessary, replacing whilst you have the opportunity.

Joists for the Loft Floor

New floor joists need to be fitted on top of the existing ceiling joists, with these floor joists forming the floor structure of the loft.

Putting Down Insulation and Floorboards

Between these floor joists, you will need to put down insulation, and after this, you can lay down the floorboards. Supporting structures such as struts and hangers can be temporary solutions until less intrusive supports are installed.

Reinforcing the Rafters and Installing Dormers

Referring to your structural plan, you can now reinforce the roof and remove struts and purlins to open up your loft area.

For installing dormers, you will need to make a hole in the roof. However, doing this will risk water damage, so you will need to cover the hole in tarpaulin in wet weather.

Installing a Staircase

When this is installed it will be unique to each project, but it’s best to fit this early on as it gives easy access to the roof space.

Tiling the Dormer and Fitting Windows

Waterproof a dormer by tiling and cladding the outside, making sure to use scaffolding for safety. The windows can also be fitted at the same time.

Insulating the Rafters and Erecting and Plating Walls

Between the rafters, you need to put insulation whilst taking into consideration ventilation.

At this point, the partition wall can go up if this is part of your conversion plan. Also, wall plates will need to be fitted to the studs so things like radiators and electrics can be securely fitted.

Finishing off With Plasterboard

Plasterboard is fixed in place using drywall screws. These can be attached to the rafters and studs, and things such as skirting boards will finish off the look, along with your choice of interior design.